Wow, isn’t it amazing how fast money seems to go these days, especially when you have kids? Our family is currently watching our pennies very closely, and sometimes it seems like the effort to save money is another part-time job in itself. Coupons, sales, trade-ins, and using things up or wearing them out…. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
I just discovered an easy way to save a little money that I’ve incorporated into our household, and I thought I’d share with you all. It’s not going to save you hundreds, probably just tens… but every little bit helps, right? My family always seems to go through paper towels and Kleenex like there’s no tomorrow… every time I turn around, it’s time to stock up again at Costco. Nothing beats a paper towel for cleaning my 1-year-old’s sticky face after every meal.
However, I was a bit peeved at going through rolls so fast… and then one day I was boxing up some clothes for Goodwill that included about 10 of my husband’s old white undershirts. I put two and two together and thought, “What about a reusable paper towel?”
I cut up each shirt, first a straight cut across under the arms, and then I cut that lower section up into 8 pieces (4 from the front, 4 from the back). This gave me small white rags about 8 inches by 10 inches. I put about 40 of them in a basket in the kitchen, and there’s my new stash of “paper” towels! Just wet it and wipe.
Now, the key to this system is how to deal with the cloth after you’ve used it, because if you just toss the used ones in another basket they’ll start to smell pretty funky after a day or so, and I don’t always do a load of laundry every day. So I used a leftover baby wipes box to put the used rags in, because it keeps any funky smell in until I have a load of laundry going, and then I just toss them in with whatever’s being washed.
I’m really happy with this system so far, because my paper towel usage has gone down from a roll or more each week, to about a roll a month. There are still kitchen jobs every now and then that are so messy that they call for a disposable towel. J But this puts a few more dollars back into the family budget, and saves some trees in the process. Win-win!
P.S.- Shortly after I made my reusable “paper” towels, I read a blog post where a family was using a similar system…. but for toilet paper! Eek! Would you go that hard-core to save money and be environmentally conscious? I confess, I don’t know if I could handle reusable toilet “paper”…..